February 5, 2004
There are many different business websites available on the Internet. However when the question deals with countries in newly developing economies, in particular Ukraine, Poland and Russia, the task at hand becomes a little more difficult. The ‘disintegration of digital fences’ in the region is primarily due to the fact that businesses, governments, the financial sector and regulatory bodies understand that the lingua franca of the business world is English. As a result, many efforts have been made to provide information that is comprehensible to the global community. This review will cover three useful sources that provide reliable business information in the given geographic territory: stock exchanges; specialized websites, including English language media; and sites funded by the international development community.
The equities market in Ukraine and many of its neighbours is not as developed as in market economies; however, I have found that the stock exchanges and their affiliated projects provide one of the most reliable sources of business information. The First Securities Trading System
company news. Russia, with a much larger equity market, clearly has a number of sources, however, one of my favourite sites is
presence providing full disclosure and much of their information in English.
Getting the goods
Early last fall, one of our firm’s lawyers called me asking if I had seen the latest on the United States Trade Commission’s decision to increase tariffs on a number of different products originating from Russia and Ukraine. “I need to know all the different manufacturers of the products on the list and their contact information by tomorrow afternoon,” he hastily requested. Fortunately, I was familiar with the Industrial Ukraine site
allowed me to track down the required information for Ukrainian producers. One caveat, although the site lists 5,500 enterprises listed on the Russian-language site, less then half of these are available in the English language version. Nonetheless, the site allows one to search by product or service and provides users with contact information, products produced, and like many commercial
projects, a region or area in which domestic businesses are looking for international partners.
Trying to find the Russian manufacturers of the products needed was much more difficult, often first finding an article which referred to both a company and a product, then searching for the company’s website, often found on the B2B Russian portal
is well worth checking Pravda’s site
A good place to start for company information in Poland is the Polish Chamber of Commerce at
Two other sites worth mentioning are the
The following two sites both require registration. The Kyiv Post
available for free are the digest of the Kyiv based newspaper The Day
Running a tight ship
Ukraine, according to Transparency International’s
involving the likes of the U.S.-based Enron and Worldcom and most recently the Italian dairy company Parmalat, which forces westerners to remove their rose-coloured glasses and start truly questioning corporate governance practices. Like everywhere else in the world, this issue has become very topical. In fact, there are a number of sites clearly dedicated to this issue.
In Ukraine, the International Finance Corporation supports and runs the
Ukraine Corporate Development Project
when trying to get a better understanding about business and even the economic environment in which businesses must function.
It would not be fair to say that a great deal of information is readily available, but with time we hope the situation will improve. Until it does, many of the links provided should assist anyone interested in business information in the region with a good starting point. Clearly, those without the handicap of language will be far more successful in finding their needle in a haystack.